Fleeting highs and shattering lows of a wannabe author

I boxed as a kid and I’ve followed the sport for most of my life. It’s the reason I use for my looks. Sorry, my severe lack of looks. Having recently found Twitter, I reached out to a couple of idols in that arena and was amazed when one came back to me.

Enzo Maccarinelli is a bonafide world champion, I watched him on the TV – I roared him on against Hobson, twice, and can’t forget the card that was on offer in Cardiff in April 2007. As Enzo took on Gunn, we were treated to Rees, Brook, Khan, Chisora and Calzaghe. What a night.

Cheekily, I asked Enzo if I could send him my first novella, about mental health, suicide and the afterlife – a comedy, obviously. ‘Of course’ said the big man, in broad Welsh key strokes.

Wow. This is it. I’m going to make millions. I started to research the cost of buying islands in the sun. Not too shabby it seems. Having signed the contract with my publisher six months prior, I knew the book was on its way. Pride leaked from every pore. I’m an author and a legend like Enzo is going to get a copy of the book.

As soon as it’s published. I just need to hang fire. And wait. And pull my hair out. And wait. And keep a world champion waiting. Who is probably sat at home, having forgot all about me and gone back to his witty Twitter feed (which I watch a lot, for insights into boxing, MMA and 90’s WWF/E – give it a try).

At the same time I reached out to Paul Zanon – a heavyweight in boxing literary and a biographer that I had followed recently (with his superb telling of Martin Murray’s life). Another hit and a reply from Paul, offering advice.

This is too easy right? I could buy two islands in the sun. Within a year. Oi Branson, you selling owt else now you don’t own the airline?

That was September last year. I have no hair left to pull out. I’m still ugly and the book hasn’t arrived yet. Enzo has continued his comical look backs to the WWF and insight in the fight game, Paul probably moving onto his next book, bashing out work and I’m treading water. Stood still. Concrete eating into my ankles as it creeps up my prone foot holders.

As a human, I don’t want to look all stalker, going back to them, and their appreciated offer of help –

‘Hi there – mad here doing sweet fuck all, but IT stuff. Thanks for the offer, of course I’m all over that, but this publishing lark takes longer than I thought. I think we are sustainably growing a couple of trees for us to print on. Hopefully be with you before my 3 year old finishes University’

Conversely, I don’t want their offer to lose focus –

‘Fourteen years ago, you kindly offered to receive a copy of my book – surprise! I’m not dead and wasn’t bullshitting, it’s enclosed’

I’m stuck between the ropes, the ref is having a quiet sit down, the undercard have rattled through and my thunderous uppercut of print, is stuck on its third set of proofs.

Bang goes my dream of being papped on my 40th in March, Enzo, Paul and I chuckling our way through a heavy Merlot as we reminisce about the delays, the content and my weird as fuck writing style.

It’ll be sausage rolls and Vimto on my own, down the park at this rate.

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Published by @poetofthesouth

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